2020-02-14T02:08:05Z 2020-02-14T02:08:05Z

Formula 1 United States Grand Prix 2019 at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas

ormula 1 United States Grand Prix | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix 2019 at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on November 3, 2019.

Valtteri Bottas’ fourth win of the season at the United States Grand Prix wasn’t enough to deny his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton from claiming a historic sixth world title, the Briton finishing the race in second, having fended off a late attack from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Bottas had to win at the Circuit of The Americas to keep his slim championship hopes alive. And while the Finn drove a fantastic race from pole position to do just that, Hamilton made a one-stop strategy work to secure a third consecutive drivers' crown, and join Michael Schumacher as one of only two drivers to win as many as six F1 championship titles.
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Valtteri Bottas - Finnish racing driver currently competing in Formula One with Mercedes, having previously driven for Williams from 2013 to 2016. Since joining Mercedes, Bottas has won seven races, three in 2017 and four in 2019. He will continue driving for Mercedes in the upcoming 2020 season, partnering Lewis Hamilton.
A late charge from Max Verstappen, meanwhile, wasn’t enough to put the Dutchman in with a shot of victory, as he secured his second straight podium in Austin, finishing just 0.854s off Hamilton.

Behind, a difficult day for Charles Leclerc saw the Monegasque finish a very distant fourth for Ferrari, while Alex Albon in the second Red Bull survived first lap contact with the McLaren of Carlos Sainz to three-stop his way to fifth place.

Another fantastic race from Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo saw the Australian finishing sixth, keeping the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Sainz at bay, while the sister Renault of Nico Hulkenberg was ninth.
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Daniel Ricciardo - Australian racing driver who is currently competing in Formula One for the Renault F1 Team. He entered Formula One as a test driver for Scuderia Toro Rosso and made his debut at the 2011 British Grand Prix with the HRT team as part of a deal with Red Bull. He then raced for Toro Rosso for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat crossed the line in P10, but was almost immediately handed a five-second time penalty for a late collision with Racing Point's Sergio Perez, dropping him to 12th and lifting the Mexican into the final points slot.

A scary moment for Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, saw him eliminated on Lap 8 of the race meanwhile, the Ferrari driver – who’d started P2 – suffering sudden suspension failure that turned his SF90 into a three-wheeler for a few corners before he was forced to retire.
"We had an absolute blast. I don't know why I haven't come sooner. I've never kept up with anything Formula 1, but after watching the show on Netflix, I was hooked. I will definitely be coming here every year. We did a lot of walking when checking out the track trying to decide where to get the best spot."

"This was a family trip to see our first Formula 1 race. It was fantastic! We were very happy with our seats which were selected online. The track side televisions were easy to see; the audio description was loud and clear through the track side speakers, so we could easily follow what was happening all over the track. It was a wonderful experience!"

"Great experience, great food, prices on food and beverage were normal for an event at COTA."

"Racing world class, venue world class, food excellent. I’m ready to next year to hurry and get here. Shuttle from downtown great. Parking downtown very reasonably priced. I can’t think of any detractors."

"The F1 race was incredible and walking on the track afterwards was a cool experience. A great family day out in Austin!"
Bottas’ launch from pole was exemplary, the Finn pulling Verstappen with him, who made a fine start himself from third on the grid to get alongside P2 starter Vettel and then claim his second place. Bottas’ slowish formation lap round to the start, in fact, seemed to have hit the Scuderia runners hard, with both Vettel and Leclerc making poor getaways.

Down in P5 on the grid, Hamilton neatly avoided any touching at Turn 1 to slot into fourth behind Vettel, while behind Albon found himself squeezed into the path of Sainz, the two making contact that forced Albon’s Red Bull up into the air.

The Thai driver was able to carry on, albeit with reported aero damage on his RB15, but came in at the end of the first tour to change onto mediums and get a new front wing – any advantage the Thai driver might have had from being the only frontrunner to start on the soft tyres up in smoke after just one corner. Behind, meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed a fantastic getaway on fresh softs to jump from P17 to P11 in his Alfa Romeo.
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Lewis Hamilton - British racing driver who races in Formula One for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. A six-time Formula One World Champion, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, and considered by some to be the greatest of all time. He won his first World Drivers' Championship with McLaren in 2008, before moving to Mercedes in 2013, with whom he has won a further five titles. One of the most successful drivers in the history of the sport, Hamilton's six World Championship titles is the second-most of all time, as is his tally of 84 race victories and 151 podium finishes. He currently holds the records for the all-time most career points (3431), the all-time most pole positions (88), the most grand slams in a season (3) and the most points in a season (413).
So it was Bottas, Verstappen, Vettel, Hamilton and Leclerc as they headed into the esses for the first time. But Vettel looked to be struggling, and as they reached Turn 8, Hamilton launched a delightful move around the outside of the German to claim P3, as Vettel fell back even further into the clutches of Leclerc, who had passed him by Turn 9.

Something, it appeared, was not right in the #5 Ferrari, however, his car appearing to jump up awkwardly at Turn 12 on Lap 1 when he was alongside Leclerc. Seven laps later, having been easily passed by McLaren’s Norris and Renault’s Ricciardo, Vettel appeared to suffer right-rear suspension failure after running over the exit kerb of Turn 9, his car rearing up frighteningly in a frenzied wheelie.

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
177Valtteri BottasMERCEDES561:33:55.65325
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES56+4.148s18
333Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA56+5.002s15
416Charles LeclercFERRARI56+52.239s13
523Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA56+78.038s10
63Daniel RicciardoRENAULT56+90.366s8
74Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT56+90.764s6
855Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT55+1 lap4
927Nico HulkenbergRENAULT55+1 lap2
1011Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES55+1 lap1

That left Bottas leading from Verstappen, Hamilton and Leclerc, with Ricciardo in fifth having nipped past Norris for the position on Lap 8.

Lap 13 and 14 saw Verstappen and Bottas pit respectively, both drivers taking on hards. Such was the pace deficit shown by Leclerc early on that Bottas had then passed him for second place within two laps, with Verstappen getting through a lap later for third. Bottas, in fact, was showing blistering pace on his new hards, lapping consistently two seconds a lap faster than leader Hamilton, meaning that he’d closed up to the back of his team mate by Lap 23. Hamilton was called into the pits but demurred, asking to go longer and leaving his mechanics standing awkwardly in the pits holding his hard tyres.

Bottas was left to “attack” (his engineer’s words) Hamilton on merit the following lap, with the Finn passing easily down the back straight, before Hamilton dived straight into the pits for those hards.

The battle lines seemed drawn, then, Bottas and Verstappen in first and second apparently set for a two-stop while Hamilton in third, as in Mexico, would try and make a one-stop work. Leclerc was in fourth – but a 7.7s first stop, on top of his lack of pace, had effectively ruined any chance of the Monegasque giving Ferrari a second straight win at COTA.

Formula 1 United States Grand Prix | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen Observation Tower - view from the 251 feet observation tower designed by MirĂ³ Rivera Architects and built by Patriot Erectors as a landmark for the venue. The platform provides a 360-degree panorama of the circuit, as well as views to downtown Austin, Texas.
Verstappen’s second stop – for mediums – came on Lap 35, dropping the Dutchman into third, while Bottas again followed suit a lap later and emerged second, 10 seconds adrift of Hamilton with 20 laps to go, with Verstappen lurking with intent just behind.

Further down the order, Albon was enjoying a fantastic recovery, making the pace advantage of his Red Bull over its midfield equivalents work for him to carve his way through the order, working his way up to fifth by Lap 38, after passing Ricciardo’s Renault.

But all eyes were on the battle between the top three. As he was in Mexico, Hamilton appeared edgy about his chances of eking out the tyre life of his tyres, with his returning engineer Pete Bonnington admitting the team were “concerned” about whether they would last the distance, and suggesting Hamilton stopping again and settling for P2 might be a better idea. “We have to stay out then,” replied Hamilton.

He did just that – and while the tyres could last, Hamilton’s hold on the lead could not. Bottas tried to pass him team mate on Lap 51 of 56, only to be rather rudely rebuffed. But a lap later, the Finn was clinical, sweeping into a lead down the back straight that he wouldn’t relinquish, eventually crossing the line four seconds up the road from Hamilton to claim his fourth win of the year.
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Formula 1 track marshal.
Behind, Verstappen was on a charge in the final laps, but the Dutchman ultimately ran out of time to make a dart from Hamilton’s second place, ending up less than a second behind the Mercedes at the chequered flag, as Leclerc and Albon rounded out the top five, Albon having managed to stop again on Lap 41 and still find his way back to fifth.

Eighth last time out in Mexico, a fantastic race from Daniel Ricciardo saw him go two better in Austin, ahead of the McLaren pairing of Norris and Sainz – whose fears of a drop-off in their cars’ performances didn’t manifest. Nico Hulkenberg came home ninth, while a second last-lap crash in as many races for Daniil Kvyat saw him handed a five-second post-race penalty, dropping him from 10th at the line to 12th, and handing a point to Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, with whom he’d collided.

Meanwhile, an apparent late brake failure for Kevin Magnussen saw him end up in the Turn 12 gravel, as both he and team mate Romain Grosjean failed to score at Haas' home race, Grosjean coming home 15th.

So while it was Bottas who took the top step in COTA for his seventh career victory, the day will forever be remembered for Lewis Hamilton claiming his sixth title – the Briton continuing to re-write Formula 1’s record books.

Formula One
Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of single-seater auto racing and the FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. The word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads.
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Circuit of The Americas
Circuit of The Americas is a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power, and is home to the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, the MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, and more.

The Circuit of The Americas’ master plan features a variety of permanent structures designed for business, education, entertainment and race use. Its signature element is a 3.4-mile circuit track. Other support buildings include Austin360 Amphitheater, an expansive outdoor live music space; an iconic 251-foot tower with observation deck; an events and conference center; a banquet hall; and a state-of-the-art medical facility.
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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